What's differences in nuance between those sentences when people use them?

  • You can say it loudly.
  • You can say it out loud.
  • You can say it aloud.

The question has changed a little bit since I asked at first. I was confused about these because of the title of a song, now through some comments, I finally realised what I need to ask.

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  • 2
    Hi Jin. Please edit your question to explain why the dictionary didn't help when you looked up "loud" and "aloud". – ColleenV Mar 20 '17 at 11:19
  • Is your question is more about the difference between "say it loud" and "say it loudly" than "say it aloud"? Aloud has a different meaning from loud in the dictionary, so I don't understand why you believe they are similar. What does the dictionary say that makes you think they have a similar meaning? Or are you just looking at the spelling? – ColleenV Mar 22 '17 at 14:23
  • No the comment was added because someone answered that it should be not 'You can say it loud' but 'You can say it loudly'. So I explained the reason why I used 'loud' instead of 'loudly'. And now I think the usage of the phrase in the song is different from those. I will edit. – Jin L Mar 22 '17 at 17:02
  • I think your edits have improved your question quite a bit! I'm glad that you got an answer that helped you. – ColleenV Mar 22 '17 at 18:07

Well the biggest difference is aloud is an adverb, but loud is an adjective.

But there is likely some confusion between "Aloud", "Out loud","Loudly", which are all adverbs.

"Aloud" is an adverb used in contrast to saying or thinking something quietly. So usage might be

"She read her secret journal aloud to the class."


"He couldn't help but to weep aloud".

More importantly, you should know that "aloud" is generally deemed as formal, and is rarely used in conversation.

"Out Loud" is almost the same as "aloud", they can usually be used interchangeably. For example

"He couldn't help but to weep out loud"


"She read her secret journal out loud to the class."

The difference with out loud is that it can also be used to imply that it was a sudden or unexpected out burst. So in the acronym "LOL" (laugh out loud), it is laughing audibly as opposed to what people normally do when they are reading on the internet, which is laughing in their head or very quietly.

"Out loud" is much more common than "aloud". I can't think of an instance where I would say "aloud" in conversation without sounding a bit awkward.

"Loudly" is used most often as a quantifier of something that's loud enough or too loud. Typically, it's in a negative context. For example in a negative context:

She is playing her music way too loudly.


You are speaking too loudly in the library.

And in a positive context:

He spoke loudly so everyone could hear him.

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